Bringing Your Shelter Dog Home

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! Are you planning to adopt a pooch from a local shelter? If so, that’s great! Here, a Portage, MI vet discusses helping Fido settle in.


Before you bring your new pooch home, you’ll need to get some supplies. Your shopping list should include toys, treats, bedding, food, grooming supplies, waste baggies, a leash and collar, and dishes. You may also want to get a baby gate.

Coming Home

Take Fido for a walk before bringing him into his new domain. That way, your pooch will be a bit tired, and not as excitable. If you have other pets, keep your furry buddies separated at first. Set your canine pal up in a quiet back room with food, toys, and treats. If you already have a dog, introduce them on neutral ground, preferably by taking them for a long walk together.


A veterinary appointment is definitely called for. Otherwise, just let Fido sleep and settle in. Don’t be surprised if your canine buddy sleeps a lot at first. Being in a shelter is very scary for dogs, so your pooch may need to recuperate.


Going to a new home is a big deal for Fido! Your pup may be nervous at first, and could try to bolt if he feels frightened. If you have a yard, make sure your fencing is secure. You’ll also want a sturdy leash, one that won’t break if your furry friend suddenly lunges. We also recommend doing some basic puppyproofing.


All dogs should know basic obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. If Fido doesn’t have these mastered yet, take him back to school. If your pet has any behavioral issues, consult a professional dog trainer. This will be well worth it in the end!


Dogs are capable of forming very strong bonds with their pet parents. However, that friendship can take time to grow. While some pups will immediately show affection, others need time to settle in. Don’t force affection on Fido. Let him come to you when he wants attention. To win your new pet’s trust, offer him lots of toys and treats, and just spend time walking and playing with him.

Is your canine companion due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Call us, your local Portage, MI vet clinic, today!

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